MARCH 27-28TH, 1865: Combined Army-Navy operations, the latter commanded by Rear Admiral Thatcher, aimed at capturing the city of Mobile commenced. The objective was Spanish Fort, located near the mouth of the Blakely River and was key to the city's defenses.
Six tinclads and supporting gunboats steamed up the Blakely River to cut the fort's communications with Mobile while the army began to move against the fort's outworks. The river had been thickly sown with torpedoes which necessitated sweeping operations ahead of the advancing tinclads. These efforts, directed by Commander Peirce Crosby of the USS Metacomet, netted 150 torpedoes.
Nevertheless, a number of the Confederate weapons eluded the Union-- with telling results. In the next five days, three Northern warships would be sunk in the Blakely.